Podcast: Restraining Orders and Exclusive Possession Orders in Ontario

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In this transcribed interview with Dale Goldhawk of Zoomer Radio AM740 in Toronto, family and divorce lawyer Lorne Fine of Fine & Associates Professional Corporation discusses what you need to know about restraining orders and exclusive possession orders. Read the interview below, or listen to the podcast at the bottom of the page.

Goldhawk Fights Back Podcast: Recorded July 31, 2014

Dale Goldhawk: All right. It’s 12:22 here on Zoomer Radio. Time now for the legal hour. Well, less than an hour actually. Lorne Fine is here. He’s our Goldhawk Fights Back family and divorce lawyer. Lorne, great to see you once again.

Lorne Fine: Thank you for having me.

Dale Goldhawk: We have talked about various in sundry aspects of family law and divorce law. And today, we’re going to start by talking about family law and how sometimes in certain situations, and this would not be necessarily uncommon, criminal law gets involved in the whole process as well making, I guess, your job even if not just more complicated, more difficult as well.

Lorne Fine: Well, it becomes very difficult. You know, I thought, in my practice abuse is very prevalent. I know how you feel about statistics so I actually looked up some statistics.

Dale Goldhawk: Oh, I love this. And I can’t get enough, you know that.

Lorne Fine: In 2009, 6% of all Canadians with a current or former spouse reported physical or sexual abuse.

Dale Goldhawk: What was the percent?

Lorne Fine: Six percent.

Dale Goldhawk: Six percent.

Lorne Fine: Which I thought was much higher than that actually.

Dale Goldhawk: And that’s not very impressive, is it? The figure.

Lorne Fine: No. Those are the spouse that reported abuse. So there’s lots of abuse out there that is unreported, I’m sure.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah. And there’s some abuse reported that may not be abuse.

Lorne Fine: Right. You’re right. There are some false allegations, of course.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah.

Lorne Fine: It says 22% of all victims of spousal violence are likely to report the incident to police. Seventeen percent reported being victims of emotional or financial abuse. And 10% of victims said they obtained a restraining order against their spouse.

Dale Goldhawk: Oh, yeah.

Lorne Fine: And of those who obtained a restraining order, 30% violated the restraining order; 30% of the other spouses.

Dale Goldhawk: I would have thought that number would be higher too, wouldn’t you?

Lorne Fine: I would think so as well. Yes. It’s a little bit surprising because I would think in my practice, half the cases you’re dealing with abuse. You’d be happy to know what abuse means, right? We’re not just talking about physical abuse. There’s emotional abuse. There’s psychological abuse, financial abuse, you know. So that’s quite common.

Dale Goldhawk: So anecdotally, you think half your cases have some touch upon that.

Lorne Fine: Absolutely. Some form of whether it’s controlling the spouse financially, abusing the spouse emotionally. So it’s not always just about physical abuse.

Dale Goldhawk: Well in fact, the abuse probably led to the break-up of the marriage anyway in most cases.

Lorne Fine: Right. Some people suffer for years, and some people suffer. And you know, before on prior programs, you’re talking about the causes of divorce and why people get divorce.

Dale Goldhawk: Yes.

Lorne Fine: And abuse was up there. Financial abuse or financial problems was number one if you’ll recall. But some people suffer for years being abused. But you’re right. It’s obviously a major cause of break-up of marriages.

Dale Goldhawk: So when that kind of thing happens and it’s a factor when you’re representing one of the parties in a divorce proceeding, with abuse, you’re hinging on; you’re talking about criminal law and not just family.

Lorne Fine: Right. Well, I don’t practice criminal law.

Dale Goldhawk: No. I know that. But I’m, you know…

Lorne Fine: But in some instances, you’ll be approached by let’s say a wife.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah.

Lorne Fine: And the wife will say, “You know, my husband is being physically abusive and I’m concerned about my welfare, and I’m concerned about the welfare of my children. And as a family lawyer, we can go to court and we can get a restraining order. We can go to court and get an order for exclusive possession of a matrimonial home.

Dale Goldhawk: Right.

Lorne Fine: So there are certain steps that we can do.

Dale Goldhawk: And there are some things that you can do.

Lorne Fine: Oh, absolutely.

Dale Goldhawk: Even though abuse is a criminal issue, you can deal with it by the restraining order.

Lorne Fine: Right. But you know, I always tell my clients that if there’s abuse, call the police. Don’t hesitate to call the police. And you know, the police treat it very seriously when a report is made.

Dale Goldhawk: These days, they do certainly.

Lorne Fine: These days they do. Yeah. Because there’s been some horrific situations in the past and now they treat every call very seriously.

Dale Goldhawk: So those things would work together. I mean, your client, for example a woman, would be calling the police to report abuse by her estranged spouse.

Lorne Fine: Right.

Dale Goldhawk: But at the same time, you would be going to court to get a restraining order. They’re not mutually exclusive. They weren’t together, weren’t they?

Lorne Fine: No. Not at all. Or I would go to court and get an order for an exclusive possession. Which I would go to court, I would say to the court, “My client is afraid of her safety and the safety of her children and she should have exclusive possession of the matrimonial home”, stopping the other spouse from coming back into the house. So you know, that’s granted quite frequently when there is abuse.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah. But I know of many cases. I hear about them all the time at Fight Back at Goldhawk.com of restraining orders that were broken or exclusive possession orders that were not respected. And there comes the difficulty. Doing something about it once it’s obvious, the person with the restraining order may be directed towards. It’s just not going to pay attention.

Lorne Fine: Well, a court order is a piece of paper and it’s meant to be respected.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah, but it’s a pretty…

Lorne Fine: It’s a piece of paper. You can’t get any better. All right?

Dale Goldhawk: I know. I guess.

Lorne Fine: That’s a resistance.

Dale Goldhawk: It’s for my judge. Come on. Right.

Lorne Fine: It’s for my judge. And it’s a piece of paper that’s meant to be respected. And there are serious consequences if you breach a restraining order. Yes, people breach it. But if you breach a restraining order, you could suffer a serious fine and you could go to jail. And you have to recall as well that when you get a restraining order, you register. A lawyer will register the restraining order under a CPIC, which is a Canadian Police Information Center.

Dale Goldhawk: Yes.

Lorne Fine: And so it’s registered in a database.

Dale Goldhawk: Any police officer and any police car can contact CPIC and find that there are restraining orders.

Lorne Fine: Right. They do a search and they see the CPIC and they treat it. I guess it’s an additional factor in responding to a call or whatever.

Dale Goldhawk: Well, sure. Absolutely. Typically, the restraining order would say, well within, there’s a distance sometimes mentioned between.

Lorne Fine: Yeah. Obviously, it’s at the discretion of the judge. It may say to stay away from 50 meters from a residence or 50 meters . . .

Dale Goldhawk: That’s the typical distance 50 meters.

Lorne Fine: . . . yeah, or from the place of employment. Not to harass, annoy, or molest this person. So it can be for short period of time. It can be for a longer period of time.

Dale Goldhawk: It could be time-based.

Lorne Fine: It could be time-based.

Dale Goldhawk: Say, from such and such date.

Lorne Fine: Yeah.

Dale Goldhawk: Or indefinitely depending upon.

Lorne Fine: It could be indefinitely. I can actually go to court on an ex-party basis, which means without notice to the other side. And to get a restraining order, the judge may say without telling the other side, “You have to stay away from, let’s say, the wife for 50 meters away. Stay away from the house. Stay away from the residence.” And like you said, it can be time-limited or it can be for a longer duration.

Dale Goldhawk: Well, I mean, how long can that duration go on? I mean, if you get it, would you not have to re-apply to have it continue or something like that?

Lorne Fine: Well, it’s about possible if there’s a deadline.

Dale Goldhawk: I guess if there was a nearly deadline.

Lorne Fine: Yeah. If there’s a deadline and there may be a reason to extend it, you have to re-apply. I guess it depends on how serious the situation is.

Dale Goldhawk: But assuming that it’s broken, then what does the client do in a case like that? Call the police?

Lorne Fine: Call the police.

Dale Goldhawk: Call you? Well, I guess it’s a little of both.

Lorne Fine: Both. Yeah. If there’s a restraining order, you pick up the phone. You call the police, “I have a restraining order. My husband’s stalking me. He’s harassing me.” And you call the police and you call your family law lawyer. And as I said, there are serious consequences. It’s a court order and has to be respected.

Dale Goldhawk: But at that point, if it’s the he and he breaks the court order, the restraining order, and she calls the police. The police come and their options are that they could charge you.

Lorne Fine: They could arrest him.

Dale Goldhawk: OK. They would arrest him and charge him.

Lorne Fine: Sure.

Dale Goldhawk: So that you’re in the bench, you’re standing by but there is no function for you to perform at that particular point. It then becomes a criminal issue.

Lorne Fine: Right.

Dale Goldhawk: Right?

Lorne Fine: Yes. So if he’s charged, I think one of, if you breached a restraining order, you’re liable to be imprisoned up to three months. So it’s pretty serious.

Dale Goldhawk: And you’ve seen where the restraining order has been broken, the wife has called the police. The police had come, charged the guy?

Lorne Fine: Yeah.

Dale Goldhawk: And maybe he’s even done something inside then.

Lorne Fine: I’ve heard of that situation before, sure.

Dale Goldhawk: No.

Lorne Fine: Yeah. I’m serious.

Dale Goldhawk: Here are the numbers to call if you have a question about this area of family law or any question as a matter of fact.

Lorne Fine: Any question.

Dale Goldhawk: As long as it’s about family law.

Lorne Fine: Or anything at all.

Dale Goldhawk: Let’s not get into real estate. You know, no real estate, none of the others.

Lorne Fine: OK.

Dale Goldhawk: Lorne Fine is here. He’s our Goldhawk Fights Back family lawyer. We’ve been talking about the whole restraining order process where family law kind of slaps over a bit in the criminal law when the situation arises, where the restraining order is not obeyed. And as you say, Lorne, how frequently in your experience does it happen that the restraining order or any exclusive possession order on the family home that they’re broken?

Lorne Fine: In most cases, the orders are respected. That’s my experience. You know, nobody wants to breach an order during the course of a core proceeding. And you know, it just would destroy any…

Dale Goldhawk: What kind of argument would you get in court, right?

Lorne Fine: Yeah. It just makes you back with the rest of proceeding, right? When you breach a restraining order, you breach an exclusive possession order. The judges are not going to listen to you in the future if you have no respect for a court order. So in most cases, as my experience, that this order is very effective.

Dale Goldhawk: How often do you apply for the order? But that’s not hardly uncommon.

Lorne Fine: It’s not uncommon. Obviously, for exclusive possession, you have to prove it’s in the best interest of the kids. If there’s kids involve, a court is more likely to grant an exclusive possession order. And the court also looks at whether the other spouse has alternative accommodations, the financial situation of the parties. So you know, it’s all about trying to protect the parties and the kids.

Dale Goldhawk: OK. Here’s Karen on the line from Dundalk. Karen, do you have a question for Lorne Fine?

Karen: Well, I don’t know if it’s a question as much as a comment. I have a restraining order on my ex-husband. This goes back to 2011. Is this true, Lorne? It wasn’t born from domestic violence. It was born from my affidavit to the court to have him remove from the property and exclusive possession. So it was a matter of my safety was involved. But he did breach it four months later and tried talking to me while I was in the library in our little town.

So I called the O.P.P. when I got home and they picked him up over that weekend and put him in the detachment, police detachment closest to the court that he would have to go to. And he was there 9 o’clock Monday morning and got basically a slap on the wrist and a $250 fine. But if probably had there been, I think domestic violence, physical violence in the past, I think it would have been a lot heftier, would it not have?

Lorne Fine: Well, he still learned his lesson, didn’t he?

Karen: Yeah. My message was basically, “Stay away from me.

Lorne Fine: Right. And so the police treated it seriously. He got arrested, right? And he hasn’t spotted you since.

Dale Goldhawk: He spent the night in the slammer.

Lorne Fine: Yeah. He spend the night in the slammer. It’s pretty serious.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah.

Karen: Yeah. Well, I’ve seen him a couple of times since and he’s run like a scared bunny, so I think it worked.

Lorne Fine: Exactly. So he’s learned his lesson.

Karen: I think so.

Lorne Fine: OK. So your order was effective and that’s good.

Karen: Yeah.

Dale Goldhawk: Well, the order is still in effect, is it?

Lorne Fine: No. I get…

Karen: Probably not because I’ve moved and I was told if I wanted to get the address changed on it just to go at the courthouse. But I’m not that concerned anymore . . .

Lorne Fine: Well, the order is still…

Karen: . . . because he had an agreement with somebody else and has another life going. So I’m not too concerned.

Lorne Fine: The order was still there. So until the order is terminated, it’s still there.

Karen: OK.

Dale Goldhawk: Also, it could be theoretically forever until you…

Lorne Fine: Theoretically, it exist. Yeah.

Dale Goldhawk: OK. Unless it was time when you did in the first place . . .

Lorne Fine: Right.

Dale Goldhawk: . . . so the order is still there, Karen.

Karen: Yes. I just know that it’s a final order but I don’t recall it having any date on it.

Dale Goldhawk: No. What Lorne is telling you is that they don’t expire.

Karen: OK.

Dale Goldhawk: All right. Thanks, Karen.

Lorne Fine: Thank you.

Karen: OK. Thanks. Bye bye.

Dale Goldhawk: Well, there’s a perfectly good example of how…

Lorne Fine: A what?

Dale Goldhawk: It works very effectively.

Lorne Fine: She thought he had a slap in the wrist because it’s only $500 or $250, but he was imprisoned overnight. He’s never bothered her again, right? So it worked.

Dale Goldhawk: And when he sees her around the city, runs like a bunny?

Lorne Fine: Like a bunny. He hops away.

Dale Goldhawk: Because our common impression of these things that we often get from television, and you know television never lies.

Lorne Fine: Right.

Dale Goldhawk: Is that when the restraining order is issued, that invariably gets broken and nobody can do anything about it. But that’s not really an accurate picture, is it?

Lorne Fine: Nobody wants to spend the night in prison, right? That’s a very strong message to this guy.

Dale Goldhawk: I absolutely guarantee you, nobody wants in there.

Lorne Fine: He didn’t want to go back again so it’s very effective.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah. 416-360-0740 or 866-740-4740. We’re talking about two kinds of orders, an exclusive possession order. They may be on the family home because the kids are involved. Typically, the wife could be home with the kids and the dad has told stay away. Or a simple restraining order which might say, “Don’t come near me at work.” Or, “Don’t come near me anywhere.”

Lorne Fine: Period.

Dale Goldhawk: Right?

Lorne Fine: Exactly.

Dale Goldhawk: Don’t come near me anywhere.

Lorne Fine: Right. Leave me alone. Don’t call me. Don’t come near me.

Dale Goldhawk: That’s really what it is, “Leave me alone.” Isn’t it? All right. Here is Dan on his cellphone. Dan, do you have a question for Lorne Fine?

Dan: Yeah. I wonder if there’s a time with the lawyers if you’ve been asked you went through the whole procedure. There was a restraining order and you settled all with state matters, and children, and what you called child support and all that type of issues. And then when you get down to the fact that, “OK. That’s all done. Everything is working.” And you want to get divorced and then the lawyer never gets back to you and it’s been a year and a half. No correspondence whatsoever and you’ve emailed and have proof of emails saying, “Now, let’s proceed,” and they never get back to you.

Dale Goldhawk: Oh, you’re kidding. So everything is decided, and suddenly…

Lorne Fine: So it sounds like you’ve resolved all your issues and all you want to do is get a divorce. Is that it?

Dan: Exactly.

Lorne Fine: And your lawyer is not answering your calls.

Dan: Well, I had the paper for a lawyer, the real estate lawyer, and my lawyer hasn’t been paid yet for the job. I paid for other things but other services haven’t been paid, because I thought once I have the divorce . . .

Lorne Fine: I suspect. Well…

Dale Goldhawk: Haven’t you already supplied the answer to your question in your statement? Dan, don’t you think? You haven’t paid the guy.

Dan: No, no. It’s because they haven’t asked her. I paid for her lawyers through the pursuit of the woman. And everything else had to be paid [inaudible 00:16:29] that was all paid and done. And now, I want the divorce but the lawyer hasn’t gotten back to me. I mean, I’ve got the money to pay them but they haven’t come to me or they haven’t proceeded with the court.

Dale Goldhawk: I can’t imagine the lawyer not wanting the business. Give me a break.

Lorne Fine: It sounds to me like you may owe your lawyer some money. And maybe if you call your lawyer and you pay the bill, maybe he’ll get back to you and help you finish the divorce. But if you don’t want to use that lawyer, use another lawyer.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah. But how complicating would that be? I mean, the lawyer may….

Lorne Fine: The divorce is easy.

Dale Goldhawk: It doesn’t matter?

Lorne Fine: Well, the divorce is easy. But I would imagine, if you owe your lawyer, you first lawyer, somehow you said you’ve been trying to reach him or her. And I suspect that if there’s an outstanding account, that’s probably the issue.

Dan: No. That was never the issue because this was a person who I knew and was their sibling who is a lawyer.

Dale Goldhawk: Family connection.

Dan: And so I thought that it could be done like a pro bono case.

Dale Goldhawk: Family connection. Pro bono; he said the magic word.

Dan: And all of the sudden, I get a 400 bucks an hour. And I went, “Whoa, OK. All the time we talked, I’m being charged,” because she never billed me. No one said. She never said that there are kind…

Dale Goldhawk: But there is some kind of a dispute going on here about what exactly this lawyer thinks you’re going to pay for or not pay for.

Dan: We weren’t disputing. She just laid the fact down. I was like, “OK.”

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah.

Dan: And I’ve never got the bill. I’ve never heard from her since again. And it’s been exactly a year next month, but it’s been two years since I’ve asked her to transpire and just keeps dragging on. And now, there’s been no bill sent to me. I’m not trying to run away from paying my bill.

Lorne Fine: So there’s no bill, then it’s not OK.

Dale Goldhawk: If she hasn’t sent you a bill, how are you supposed to pay anything?

Lorne Fine: Exactly.

Dan: That’s why I don’t know what’s going on. At this point, my brother said to me like, “What? Are you afraid to find the bill?” I said, “Well, I’m not really interested in seeing what the bill’s going to be but I’ll face it. But I haven’t gotten one, or I haven’t gotten anything that’s saying we’re proceeding with the divorce.

Dale Goldhawk: All right, the advice. Here’s comes the advice part.

Lorne Fine: Here’s the advice. So that’s unusual. Because usually, in majority of cases, at least in my office, in all cases in my office, when a client comes in, you sign a retainer agreement stating out what you’re supposed to do, what the client wants is rotating you for, and how much it’s going to cost.

Dan: That never happened.

Lorne Fine: Right, so in your perspective, in your situation, it sounds like you weren’t sure whether it was pro bono, or you’re being charged or what, so that’s very odd. And obviously, if there’s no account; if the law didn’t render an account, how are you supposed to know how much you’re supposed to pay?

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah.

Dan: Exactly. And so she told me like three years later, I get 400 bucks an hour.

Dale Goldhawk: Well, that’s not the same as sending out a bill, is it?

Lorne Fine: Right.

Dan: No. And then, I mean, I paid the spouse’s lawyer and I paid for the real estate lawyer. And I did all that and then it was time to pay my lawyer who was representing me to doing all these things. No bill. No nothing. I thought she was doing us a favor through a friend. And then two years later, she says, “Oh, it’s 400 bucks an hour.” And I said, “Whoa!” And then a bill didn’t came and the years passed by, and the divorce doesn’t happen or nothing.

Dale Goldhawk: OK. So obviously, there’s a break down in the relationship if everything is resolved; if you’ve resolved your child support issues, right? And you have done that?

Dan: Everything.

Lorne Fine: Everything resolved. So there’s no reason why, and you’ve been separated for over a year. . .

Dan: Of course.

Lorne Fine: . . . OK. So go to another lawyer and get a divorce. If you want a divorce, go to another lawyer. You say to another lawyer, “I got a separation agreement. Child support is resolved. I want a divorce.” And it’s just a matter of going through the process.

Dale Goldhawk: As a straight forward business proposition where the lawyer writes down what is going to cost, you pay the money and none of this thinking it’s pro bono or working through family members, just a straight on business arrangement, right?

Lorne Fine: Yeah. Right. Try that, Dan.

Dan: Pardon me?

Lorne Fine: I said try that.

Dan: OK. And I just had to present the new lawyer, which I have in my possession, the separation agreement.

Lorne Fine: Exactly. Bingo. And you say to the lawyer, “I’m paying my child support. There’s no reason why the divorce should not proceed. I’ve been separated for over a year.” And it’s fairly straight forward.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah. And thanks very much for telling us a convoluted story. I hope it works out for you.

Announcer: You’re listening to an exclusive podcast of Goldhawk Fights Back For You on AM 740 Zoomer Radio. Goldhawk Fights Back For You airs Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on AM 740 Zoomer Radio.

Dale Goldhawk: Lorne Fine is here, our Goldhawk Fights Back family lawyer. We’ve been talking about restraining orders. And I think what we’re learning so far is that despite what you’ve seen in that movie you were watching or some television show of some kind, restraining orders are not categorically and routinely ignored. And if they are, there are consequences.

Lorne Fine: Absolutely. Right.

Dale Goldhawk: OK. All right. Let’s hear from Mike calling from Clareview. Mike, do you have a question for Lorne Fine?

Mike: I have a question. But before I give my question to your guest, I’d like to suggest to prompt us because you have lawyers on every now and then, and police on every now and then. But there are lot of questions that we don’t know about when we are confronted by a police, what we have to tell them? And I think something like that would make [inaudible 00:22:00].

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah, I did that. I did that a couple of years ago. But you know what? I’m going to write it down because it’s such a good idea and I know exactly the lawyer I can get for that.

Mike: There you go. OK.

Dale Goldhawk: OK, Now on with your question.

Mike: Now my question is, well first part would be do you have many men in the family law situation getting restraining orders against the wives or the women? And does the person who that the restraining order is provided for, like aside from the restraining order on Mary or John or whatever, if I put the restraining order to them, do I have to avoid them as well?

Dale Goldhawk: Oh, that’s a very good question.

Lorne Fine: Yeah, that is a good question. First of all, either the husband or the wife can get a restraining order. It’s not specifically geared towards the wife. Do I have many situations where men seek a restraining order? No.

Mike: Really?

Lorne Fine: Yeah, very seldom. I guess it’s almost the sexist thing. You know, people say she really annoy harassing you, but I guess it does happen. Not in my practice, it doesn’t happen very often. Should you avoid them? I assume that if you’re getting restraining orders, because you don’t want to deal with them, with the other party.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah. But can you break the restraining order as the person who got the restraining order in the first place?

Lorne Fine: It’s a very good question.

Dale Goldhawk: It is a good question.

Mike: Well, the reason I asked that is because occasionally, you know, when you’ve had to call police and the police come, and you have an issue with another person and you say, “I don’t want this person bothering me anymore.” And they’ll say, “OK, but you don’t bother them either.”

Lorne Fine: Right. So let’s call them mutual restraining order.

Mike: Right.

Lorne Fine: So when the police are uncertain about really who’s to blame, and the wife is saying one thing and the husband is saying something else, then a court, a judge could say both parties are restrained from annoying or harassing each other. So it’s possible to have a mutual restraining order. And the police could also say, “Stay away from each other.”

Dale Goldhawk: Just as a general piece of stern advice.

Lorne Fine: Yeah. Just stay away from each other.

Dale Goldhawk: But still, what you’re asking, Mike, is a very… I mean.

Lorne Fine: It’s an interesting question. So you’re obtaining the order. So really, if you go and say the order is not to come within 50 meters of the other person. And the person who obtained the order comes within those 50 meters. Technically, that person is now breaching the order.

Dale Goldhawk: Unless it was the mutual.

Lorne Fine: Yeah. Unless it was mutual, I guess the person who the order was against could say, “I didn’t breach it. She breached it. She came towards me. I didn’t go towards her.” That doesn’t happen very often.

Dale Goldhawk: Well, why would that person want to do that unless, reconciliation was in the air, or some strange development like that.

Lorne Fine: Yes, that’s unusual.

Mike: Well, what if you haven’t paid the alimony and they’re thorning you saying, “Where’s the check?”

Lorne Fine: Well, that’s not really harassment.

Mike: No. But that is communicating with the person.

Lorne Fine: Well, that’s true. And that any recipient, you’re right, the person who against whom the order is made can say, “Look. You’re trying to make me breach the order.” Is that your concern?

Mike: Yes.

Lorne Fine: Which is a valid concern.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah. I get that part.

Lorne Fine: Yeah. You’re trying to make me breach the order by talking to me and the order says not to contact you in any way. So the person would say, “Don’t speak to me. Call my lawyer and pick up the phone.”

Mike: Excellent answer.

Dale Goldhawk: All right. Thanks Mike.

Mike: Thank you.

Lorne Fine: Thank you.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah. I had fun of that. We’ll use the example of the wife. The wife gets the restraining order, and then somehow, tries to talk to the husband into breaching the order just by taking to her on the phone.

Lorne Fine: Yeah. It’s possible.

Dale Goldhawk: And then it could go and say, “See? See? See judge? See what happened?

Lorne Fine: Well, that’s possible. So the answer is, “Don’t talk to me. Talk to my lawyer.”

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lorne Fine: Is that tiring?

Dale Goldhawk: No. It isn’t tiring, it’s just that we’ve learned new… The law is such a wonderful thing because it has so many different . . .

Lorne Fine: Nuances.

Dale Goldhawk: . . . nuances and interpretations. And just like that question that Mike asked.

Lorne Fine: Yeah.

Dale Goldhawk: And even you, guy’s been around the block eight or ten hundred times, you’ll say, “I’m not sure about that.” Because just because it doesn’t happen very often doesn’t mean that it isn’t something that would be a legal issue.

Lorne Fine: That’s possible.

Dale Goldhawk: And in a case like that, it could be.

Lorne Fine: It could be. Sure.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah.

Lorne Fine: Well, I hope it was informative.

Dale Goldhawk: No. It certainly was. So the restraining order can be for a length of time and something else to remember, I think. Or the restraining order once granted and if it’s open-ended, is that what they call it, an open-ended, or indefinite?

Lorne Fine: Indefinite.

Dale Goldhawk: An indefinite restraining order against Bob.

Lorne Fine: Not specific, right? It’s not time-limited.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah, OK. That means Bob, unless something goes back into the court and has the restraining order lifted, would stay forever theoretically.

Lorne Fine: Yeah. Theoretically, an order is an order. Until it’s valid or terminated, it stays there.

Dale Goldhawk: Does that often happen? Do people just let it go?

Lorne Fine: Some people just let it go, right? Like for instance, one listener had like he settled all his issues. I don’t know if there’s a restraining order already existing. And once everything’s settled, people go their own separate ways.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah.

Lorne Fine: The truth of the matter is even if it’s indefinite, it’s not an issue unless it’s breached, right?

Dale Goldhawk: But that could have a ramification. Just think about this. And we’ve heard lately about how when police checks are done for people who’s saved, my one word for charity, CPIC is checked. Let’s assume there’s an old restraining order that’s been hanging around for years. It’s on CPIC, as you say. And they do a check. That’s going to show up.

Lorne Fine: It’s going to show up. Yeah. But does that mean that somebody is concerned about their safety? But it’s not a conviction.

Dale Goldhawk: Well, I know. But we’ve already heard it doesn’t have to be. And because the stuff on CPIC isn’t just a conviction record, it’s everything. Do you have any contact with the police at all? It’s on CPIC.

Lorne Fine: It’s there.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah.

Lorne Fine: Well, that’s the purpose of it, right?

Dale Goldhawk: But what it is speaks to the loose end sometimes that happened in legal proceedings.

Lorne Fine: You’re right.

Dale Goldhawk: That was a mere mortal speaking to a lawyer. Does that make some sense?

Lorne Fine: It does a lot. And you’re much more than just a mere mortal.

Dale Goldhawk: No. I’m a mere mortal and I am proud of it, Lorne. You know that.

Lorne Fine: Me too.

Dale Goldhawk: I’ve got 30 seconds left. What’s new? What’s a new trend in family law? Anything new coming down the pipe we need to know about?

Lorne Fine: A new trend. That’s an interesting question.

Dale Goldhawk: I guess the answer is no.

Lorne Fine: No. It’s all the old stuff.

Dale Goldhawk: Just the same old stuff all over again.

Lorne Fine: Yeah.

Dale Goldhawk: Lorne, thanks very much for explaining these things.

Lorne Fine: Thank you very much for having me.

Dale Goldhawk: It’s going to take a long time to work our way through all the aspects of these area. Don’t you think?

Lorne Fine: There’s a lot to talk about.

Dale Goldhawk: Yeah. That’s pretty sure. Lorne Fine, our Goldhawk Fights Back family lawyer and divorce lawyer. And he’ll be back before you know it, to talk about other aspects of family law.

Are You Looking for a Family Lawyer in Toronto to Help with a Restraining Order?

If you are looking for legal assistance with a family lawyer regarding a restraining orders in Toronto, experienced family and divorce law firm Fine & Associates Professional Corporation can provide the personal and professional services you need. Contact us through the form at the right, or visit our contact page.

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